Technology: Protecting the Package

In the desert at China Lake, Calif., Army ordnancemen play catch with artillery shells. It is a dangerous and demanding game. For as scientists cram the shells with proximity fuses and nuclear warheads, the ordnancemen must learn how to protect the package on its way from gun to target. Their research requires that they examine shells after they have been subjected to the searing heat and crunching pressures of firing, but before they have been damaged in landing. So the old-fashioned weapon is getting space age treatment.

The high-powered game of catch begins...

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